Unexpected Perks of Pregnancy: Nightshades?!


It’s been over two years since I did the very intensive and intense Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and almost two years since I discovered the very sad fact that I have an issue with nightshades.

Although I have not been able to be 100% nightshade free for that time – because those fuckers hide EVERYWHERE – I have diminished my rather unpleasant symptoms considerably. No more oozing, painful sores for me! Just the occasional bump when I eat them in something I would have assumed safe – like mustard, hotdogs, and American cheese (see: paprika, paprika, paprika).

I had read, way back then, that pregnancy can either exacerbate or eliminate autoimmune symptoms. Usually eliminate, because your immune system gets set to low. I had forgotten this until I had a handful of slip-ups with gluten because of the nothing-sounds-good-to-eat-except-for-this-one-very-specific-not-good-for-me-thing. I.E. cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and bagels.

Now, from doing the AIP, I discovered gluten gives me a skin reaction as well, usually within a day. Well, after a week of eating a little gluten here and there, I noticed my typical reaction wasn’t manifesting. That little tidbit of information about the immune system bubbled up in my mind and I wondered: what about nightshades?

So, of course, I tested them. We had Mexican on Thursday evening, my first time eating Mexican in over two years. Taquitos stuffed with potatoes (nightshade), with rice peppered with bell peppers (nightshade), and corn chips with excessive salsa (tomatoes = nightshade). It was amaaaazing.

And then I waited.

The problem with my nightshade intolerance and the reason why it took me so long to pinpoint, is that it can take up to 5 days to manifest. Wtf, right? But I’ve tested this time and time again. Lo and behold, day four and I have the tiniest reaction. After all those nightshades. And it starts going away within the day.

The results: excessive nightshade ingestion causes a very very mild reaction.

The conclusion: I am going to take full advantage of this for the next eight months.

Maybe not massive amounts of nightshades all at once, but certainly real tomato sauce and ketchup and hotdogs and Indian and tiny fingerling potatoes and bell peppers – actually scratch bell peppers, they’re still pretty nasty – and spicy things and salsa and tomatoes, real tomatoes.

Ugh. Yes.

(FYI, Nightshades include [but are not limited to]: tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplants, potatoes, peppers [and their spice derivatives], bell peppers, and goji berries).



Filed under AIP, happy things, pregnancy

12 responses to “Unexpected Perks of Pregnancy: Nightshades?!

  1. Nice! While I do not have adverse reactions to these foods, I do remember craving tomatoes incessantly in the first trimester. (I honestly ate up to 5 tomatoes per day.) I am convinced that there was something in them that my body desperately needed. Perhaps it is the same for you and that is lessening the reaction. In the meantime, eat up!

  2. How nice! Especially considering that pregnancy comes with such a lengthy list of DO NOT EAT XYZ.

  3. Awesome! I am incredibly lactose intolerant usually, but since being pregnant, I can down a milkshake with zero pain. Crazy. I’ve been taking advantage of it by eating ice cream sandwiches for breakfast this week 🙂 enjoy the nightshades!!

  4. I had the same thing with gluten and reveled in forbidden foods for 9 and a quarter months! Normally my colitis flares up something fierce if I have more than a tiny taste but I was FINE the entirety of my pregnancy, which is a good thing because I ate cheese fries from a shared fryer and coated with gluten, more likely than not, at least twice a week.

    • What! I think I vaguely remember you mentioning this. It’s a nice trade-off 🙂
      I have had so many potatoes so far and it’s crazy. I don’t even like potatoes.

  5. AmyApplesnail

    That would be such a hard diet to follow…. Yeah, they’d be in EVERYTHING. yay for lowered immune system!

    • I think my previous vegetarianism prepared me for looking at all the ingredients, but I was absolutely not prepared for all the things paprika creeps into. Peach tea! I’m just glad that while I’m super-sensitive, my reaction is still something I can live with for a few days.

  6. Ladibug21

    I had the same response during pregnancy. I have an autoimmune condition called lichen sclerosis that basically went into remission during pregnancy and the first six months of breastfeeding. I also had ZERO seasonal allergies. It was really the only bright spot because I also had hyperemesis gravidarum.

    Live it up! 😀

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